A great new British scheme along the lines of France Passion! Well
you'll want somewhere to stay won't you? ... Most UK 'stopovers' seem to
be based on pubs and while this is quite valid, not all of us want to
stay at pubs night after night. Britstops is different in that it also
includes farm shops, breweries, vineyards, restaurants, hotels, seafood
cafes, and even motorhome businesses, as well as quality pubs. The
scheme is still quite young so there aren't yet huge numbers of
overnight stops, around 150 at the time of writing, but I have to say
the quality is very high - the best of all UK schemes in my opinion.
The idea is that your 'hosts' allow you to stay overnight on the
premises free of charge in anticipation of your interest in their
offerings! There is no compulsion but I have to say the ideal deal
- where we stopped behind the barn at a delightful rural farm shop and
spent £30 on shopping we needed anyway - really does work well on both
sides. True the Norfolk marmalade and specialist ice creams were dearer
than Tesco but other things including the fruit and veg were cheaper!
Now do I want to give a big company trading as a campsite my £20-£30 to
park or would I rather eat it and park for free, cripes that's a hard
one isn't it?! As yet not all the hosts can provide all the
resources you'd like, they're not campsites after all, but
many do offer water and some even have a full service point, I guess the
more we use them, and spend money with them, all the more will invest in
suitable facilities. Is there a membership fee? Yes it does
cost to join but frequent users will get their money back in no time at
all. You can even get a free year of membership by successfully
recommending a new host.
Stop-overs in the
UK: Frustrated when you see the facilities for motorhomes overseas
and compare them to what we’re offered over here? Want the real
freedom to jump into the motorhome and hit the open road, without
necessarily knowing where you’ll end up for the night? Not that easy
though is it, just where can you stop over like this? Many of us know
that there are very few places indeed. Worse still we are often barred
from over-nighting where others aren't - the tourist town of Stratford upon
Avon for instance tolerates over-nighting in trucks but not in motorhomes!!
So what’s the solution? In other
European countries with large motorhome communities - including France,
Germany and Italy - towns and villages provide areas for motorhome overnight
stays, sometimes with facilities, and sometimes even free of charge!
Stopovers UK no
longer seems active but the Practical Motorhome Magazine Nightstops Scheme
is well worth knowing about see this
Nightstops google map
and of course Brit Stops above.
there is a really good campaign underway to get as many 'No Overnight
Parking' signs removed as possible on the basis that most are illegal!
Andy Strangeway is the very dedicated and determined guy behind all this and
his very busy wordpress blog is at
http://andystrangeway.wordpress.com/category/campaigns/. You'll see he
has several campaigns in progress at any one time but please do support his
'No Overnight Parking Signs' campaign. This has mostly focussed on Scotland
so far but is moving south this year, I believe he has his sights on Yorks &
Lincs at the moment.
It can be a bit difficult to tie together all the campaigns that relate to
motorhome overnighting but it is worth the effort.
authorities have car park areas that are unused at night, some of which
would be suitable for short-term stays by a limited number of motor
caravans. And yet, with very few exceptions, local authorities refuse to
allow motorhomes permission to stay overnight, thus criminalising the few
‘wild campers’ who do. If all this strikes a chord, and you feel
unnecessarily restricts freedom, please do join the campaign/s.
Together we can make a difference - so don't just
read about - join in and get a result!!
These sites are all 'approved' as far as we can tell. For
wild camping info try
www.wildcamping.co.uk and perhaps add your own as you find
King Arthur's Car Park, opposite The Old Post Office, Fore Street.
Officially licensed for motorhomes to stay overnight at
£3 for the night (4.00pm to 10.00am approx).
No services and public toilet block in the car park closes at 10pm.
Kingsmead coach park.
Kingsmead Road, Canterbury. CT1 1BW. Fresh water, grey and black water dump facilities at ground level
on payment of the parking fee of £5 for 12 hours max.
Used to be no overnight parking but we believe this has changed now.
Road Park & Ride, about 1 mile from Canterbury city centre along the A2. £2
per day (includes bus fare); overnight parking of motorhomes is allowed at
2xDay daily rate. Water, grey and black Dump (free on payment of
parking fee); 24 large parking bays
Maidstone: Maidstone Services on M20. £6 Food, shops, toilets,
Abingdon: Rye Farm
Pay & Display car park, on the A415 going south from Abingdon, on the left
hand side just across the river bridge. £5 for 24 hours maximum.
Public toilets (pay) are just across the road
Bowling Club car park.
Tomintoul: Car park of Tomintoul Bowling Club, Lecht Drive, Tomintoul.
Off the B9008 Tomintoul to Dufftown road. From Dufftown or Lecht Ski area
turn left into Lecht Drive just before the village.
From Grantown on Spey, turn left in Tomintoul at sign for Dufftown and Lecht
Ski area, then immediately right into Lecht Drive.
Overnight parking of motor homes on hard-standing £5 per night per vehicle. Pre-booking
Drinking water available. Toilets, including disabled, on site.
Shops within 200 yards
Angler’s Rest, 139 The Vow Road, Ballymoney, Co. Antrim. Phone 028 2954
Pub car park; pub serves food in the evenings during the week and all day on
Houston Mills. Follow the brown tourist signs to Houston Mills (at
the Larne end of the village) and park in its attractively arranged grounds.
Euro-Relais bourne (service point) for fresh water and grey and black water
Free overnight parking. £1 charge for services. Fresh water, grey and
black water disposal; French style ‘sani-station’.
Ballyboley Inn, 125 Shanehill Road, Glenwherry, Ballymena.
BT42 3EP. (on the main road from Larne to Ballymena) Telephone 028 2583
1208. Free overnight but no services in pub car park.
Brown Trout Golf and Country Inn, 209 Agivey Road, Aghadowey, Coleraine.
Telephone 028 7086 8209.
Free overnight parking in Golf Car Park, Maximum Two Nights.
Fresh water available
Daft Eddys, Sketrick Island, Newtownards, Co Down.
BT23 6QH. Tel 028 9754 1615.
Free overnight parking on slightly sloping ground in restaurant car park.
Well done to all participating - but not much of a list for
the whole of the UK is it?
to be a message to uk publicans here too?!!